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Editorial Reviews


“In The Memory Child, Steena Holmes explores motherhood, love, and the notion of who we really are, all of which adds up to a complex, character-driven story that packs a great punch.” —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Time of My Life and The Theory of Opposites

“Poignant and richly drawn...The Memory Child is an unusual spin on love and loss with rich characters and an emotional twist.” —Jane Porter, bestselling author of The Good Woman

About the Author

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in theology. She is the author of eleven novels and novellas, including Finding Emma, for which she was awarded a National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters, and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477818421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477818428
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,050 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author!

Growing up as a small town Canadian girl, there wasn't much to do but ride your bike, hang out with friends on the beach and daydream. I always wanted to write but never dreamed it was something I could do as a career. I love to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles and romantic history of Scotland and England. I dream about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with my husband, of placing my toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, I'm learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. I love to wake up to the Rocky Mountains, will forever enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate and can't imagine the day when a story doesn't unfold in my heart. Living a life with passion and pursuing dreams is a life well lived.

The Finding Emma Series: Finding Emma, Dear Jack, Emma's Secret & Dottie's Memories.
The Memory Child
Stillwater Rising

Reviews for Steena Holmes:

"Finding Emma is a heartbreaking story of a mother's journey of hope...captured by the emotion and depth of the characters from the beginning."

"The FINDING EMMA Series may be the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming book I have ever read...Tense, emotional and realistic it will ring your emotions dry."

Customer Reviews

This book was just a lil too predictable.
Roxanne Flagler
I enjoyed reading this book, it kept my interest and the ending was a surprise.
I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciate a good read!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on March 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The Memory Child by Steena Holmes is a very well-written women’s fiction suspense novel dealing with postpartum psychosis, the rare illness that can include rapid mood swings, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, strange beliefs, and sometimes, infanticide.

Diane and Brian are going to have a baby, but Diane is terrified; her mother smothered her infant brother and committed suicide as a result of postpartum psychosis. Brian is an amazing, loving husband, extremely excited for the birth of his first child, while Diane is more than a little hesitant, and actually considers an abortion. Fast-forward one year: Diane has had her baby, is completely enamored of her child like most normal mothers, but… why hasn’t Brian returned from his business trip?

The story is told in alternative perspectives between Brian, during Diane’s pregnancy, and Diane, following the birth of her baby, Claire. Supporting characters include a nanny that Brian hired for Diane prior to his business trip, as well as Diane’s younger sister.

It is clear very early on that something is seriously messed up, and we do not know what could have happened. I had ideas early on – in fact, I was almost convinced at one point that I had guessed the ending, and I was fairly confident because I read a lot – but I am happy to report that I was wrong. Why does everyone act so off around Diane? Where is Brian, the husband-of-the-year?

The writing was very good. I have never read anything by Steena Holmes, and did not know what to expect. She gives the reader a good mind-eff with this one. Highly recommended, with an ending I did not see coming. The pacing was perfect, and the end satisfying.
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108 of 119 people found the following review helpful By jh1234 on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
All of the glowing reviews convinced me to read this, but now that I have I'm left wondering if those reviews were written by the author and/or her loved ones. Though I don't normally leave negative book reviews (books are so often a matter of taste that I don't usually assume that my lack of enjoyment means it has no merit), "The Memory Child" was so incredibly bad that I feel like I have to share my honest opinion in the hopes that I can prevent other readers from wasting their time and money.

The premise is interesting enough (postpartum psychosis), but that's the only nice thing I can say about it. The writing is really terrible. It is full of cliches, more cliches than I would have thought possible for a single book. Then there's the purple prose. It feels like something written by a high school freshman for a creative writing assignment. The characters are thinly drawn. At no point do these seem like real people. The plot is somehow both untidy and predictable. Just really awful, the whole thing.

I feel for the author. I know that writing a book is not an easy task. But I am incredibly irritated by those reviewers who have been gushing over the book. We all rely on honest reviews to help guide our purchases and after having read this book I really can't imagine that anyone without a personal stake in the book's success would describe this as "very well written" or "suspenseful" or anything but amateurish.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jenn H on March 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always know when I'm going to read a Steena Holmes story my emotions are going to get jerked around.

If you're a fan of her Finding Emma books - realize this is not this is not like the Emma books. At all.

There were times when I found it really hard to like Diane and yet I totally sympathized with her. It was the same for me with Megan in Finding Emma. It takes considerable writing chops to pull this off. The story grabbed me from the beginning and dragged me through an emotional maze. Realize that when you're about to get a not-easy to read book. This is not a light book and it will sit heavy upon your heart. I don't mean that it bad way. I love emotional books. I love when they hit me in the soft spot and squeeze and squeeze. And The Memory Child did exactly that.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful By The Every Free Chance Reader on March 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Did I enjoy this book: You know how sometimes you drink too much and end up with a knot in the pit of your stomach the next morning – not because you’re hung over, but because you’re certain you’ve embarrassed yourself in some unforgiveable way? Yeah. You know. Your heartbeat is erratic, your breathing is all breathy and weird, and for some reason you’ve got the tingles even though you’re certain none of your limbs are asleep. It’s not a freight train, but there’s certainly something loud and uncomfortable ricocheting around inside your skull cavity. Eating day-old sushi or smelling that thing in the back of your refrigerator sometimes creates the same effect.

That’s what this book is like. It’s brilliant. It’s terrifying. I was mostly nauseous the whole time I read it, but I promise you I gave up both food and sleep to finish it, and so should you.

Would I recommend it: I just did.

Will I read it again: I’m going to go with an utterly honest “maybe” response… it depends on the status of my mental health next time I consider it. =)

As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
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